Jennifer and Darby are busy. They work, are active in their community, and have four  children, plus two dogs. For their family, as is also true for many others, staying ahead of clutter can be a challenge. What to work on first?

Jen and baby Lulu were home on the morning when I arrived, and Darby would return soon. She said that the clutter on the center island in the kitchen bothered him. Let’s start there!

Our plan – first, to deal with the pile of papers on a corner, then to work our way to the other side. In my work as a professional organizer, I see this is as a common challenge, which many individuals and families face. (Heck, I have to control my own kitchen counter pile – daily!) Jen and I sorted through the mail and papers pile, discussing its items as the pile got smaller. We developed actual files for some topics, like their two vehicles, and placed them in a file drawer some 10 feet away from the kitchen island area we were clearing. Bonus points – the file drawer had available extra space!

I also made a suggestion shared with many clients along the way – to develop a three-ring binder called “One of a Kind.” Put clear plastic sheet protectors, open at the top, in it. Place in them those random items that seemingly have no other home. Mine contains my eyeglasses prescription, the “ingredients” for my mother’s homemade furniture polish, the washing instructions for the cushions that go on my back deck chairs, etc. I also recommended to Jen and Darby that they keep a piece of paper in the front, on which they could write the items saved in the sheet protectors – like a table of contents. I also predicted that, with time, their brains would naturally “gravitate” to it, as in subliminally and automatically knowing to place odd pieces of paper into their “One of a Kind” binder. It really works!

As Jen and I worked our way across the island, we tossed some items. We cleared some from on top of the calendar, which showed July. We tore off the two most recent months, updating it to September. To help the family’s meal planning, we tucked into one of its corners the school lunch schedule.


Their kitchen center island clutter cleared, both Jen and Darby were happy. We also had created some workable and useable files that they can easily reach. As we parted, I offered to check with them in a week or so. Questions? Next steps? Smiling, they agreed.

About De-clutter Me!

De-clutter Me! offers non-judgmental, competitively-priced and confidential assistance to help clear clutter in your home and/or business. We’ve been “bringing calm to chaos” since 2013.

Kitchen Center Island Clutter Cleared!